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Rob Reed is long time IT professional working (and living) in Boston, MA (USA), most recently as a consultant and previously with organizations ranging from regional nonprofits to a leading global business management firm. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science and for the past few years has been writing and teaching. Rob is a strong proponent of the open web and simple development, where simple means you know how it works.
We all recognize emoji. They’ve become the global pop stars of digital communication. But what are they, technically speaking? And what might we learn by taking a closer look at these images, characters, pictographs… whatever they are 🤔 (Thinking Face). We will dig deep to learn about how these thingamajigs work.
Please note: Depending on your browser, you may not be able to see all emoji featured in this article (especially the Tifinagh characters). Also, different platforms vary in how they display emoji as well. That's why the article always provides textual alternatives. Don't let it discourage you from reading though!
Now, let’s start with a seemingly simple question. What are emoji?